So I decided to work harder on sweep picking, I basically spent probably at least a half hour a day on sweeps at least three times a week for a week or two. I then just went ballistic and worked on sweeps an hour or two a day for 2 days in a row (which is a lot for me considering I was working on other things too). I got frustrated because I was actually getting WORSE at it as I practiced more. I got pissed off, put down the guitar, and didnt touch sweeping for two weeks. Now, normally with other techniques when I do this I would regress after a long break..


I picked up the guitar yesterday and my sweeping actually had improved dramatically since my "marathon" sweeping practice session.

What gives? Did I "overtrain" or something?
Current Gear

Bogner Uberschall
Mesa Dual Rectifier (Old Version)
Orange Closed Back 2x12 Cab with V30's
PRS Custom 24 Top 10 with 57/08 pickups
Schecter Hellraiser
Breedlove Atlas AD20
A bunch of pedals
Probably coz you just got pissed off and lost concentration. You watch pro shredders playing fast and they just sit there staring around the room, letting the muscle memory do the work. Its the same with anything, you do something enough, it will become "second nature" but as soon as you try and do it you'll **** up. Just practice at a slow pace, you wont get good in a few days.
Sweeping is a fairly complicated thing. In my opinion, it takes a clear mind to understand the concept of having both hands perfectly in sync. So when you were doing it as often as you stated, your mind probably got all clouded it up with trying to sweep right instead of just sweeping.

When you took a break from it, you kind of "forgot" the concept of doing it perfect and just started sweeping because you wanted to see. Low and behold, you did it better than ever.

IMO anyways. I personally find it very easy to sweep when I don't put to much thought into sweeping.
You must've been motivated by something. You sound similar to me. When I get frustrated I don't wanna play. But then, when I am either motivated, or NOT, I tend to play better.

Like for ex. I could NOT play the intro to "Down From The Sky" by Trivium for the long time. Then about a month later, I played with the actual song on my MP3 player and owned the intro and everything else of that song I knew.

I don't know to answer your question. Maybe you did "overtrain" and needed a break, But thats exactly what happened to me.

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You'd been doing it for so long that your brain never got the chance to sort out everything you were trying to teach it. Sort of like how when you weight train really hard for a day, you have to give your body a day off to recover and grow stronger. Taking a break from sweep picking allowed your brain and muscles to let what you were trying to teach them sink in.
His death, which happen'd in his berth,
At forty-odd befell:
They went and told the sexton, and
The sexton toll'd the bell
Your brain needs time to absorb information into your long term memory. You probably gave it too much information to handle (ie. more than it usually got because of the step up in practise times) so after a certain amount of time most of what you did was useless and just tired out your brain and your body, resulting in you playing worse.

After two weeks your brain would have had time to absorb some of that information a lot better and with your renewed energy and concentration you played better.

However, this doesn't mean you have to stop playing for weeks on end to become better. You just have to increases practise time slowly and try to learn a reasonable amount (not loads and loads) of information each time and take regular breaks.
One thing people like to say is play it until you cannot play it. This is fairly common for me. I will practice something for a long time and at first will see improvement. Then hit a brick wall or even regress a little. Pick it up a day or two later and it is much better.
Originally posted by arrrgg
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